Hong Kong Travel Blog› entry 11 of 30 › view all entries
Iâ€™ve got two phones and a PDA on me. Iâ€™m wired for communication and that call will be coming soon. Those phones are weighing my suit down, like a ball & chain. My sunglasses are on, concealing my eyes. Iâ€™m sitting in a cafÃ©, in the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong, scoping the scene before the next duel begins. Just murdering time, sipping a skim latte to ease my aching memory of the bottle of scotch I drank last night. It will start again soon.
Big boyâ€™s games.
The night beforeâ€¦ Dragon-i. Iâ€™m sitting at a round table, dressed to the nines, facing five other men. Each man is an impressive sight in their own right. Different styles, all high key, all high calibre.
We are all friends, if your definition of friendship is generous. Lets say friends of a seriously different nature.
My eyes scan the table, through the haze of tobacco and booze, and my looks are met with smiles. Features from Europe, the Middle East, Oceania & the Mediterranean greet me. The smiles and words offer unconditional welcome. Nice guysâ€¦ stand up guys who deliver what they say.
The jury is always out here. Reputation is the first and only asset.
People are wired differently. Most are wired for predictable, regular, consistent behaviour. Regular people who live long lives. The world is based on these types of people. Then there are the exceptions. Those that are made to burn like supernovas, torching the candle at both ends, racing through life at a million miles an hour. People of risk. All around me are smiles, scotch and models. An evening of fun and relaxation. But make no mistake, this is a very serious game. Each man at this table shares the same thread. Heavy weight predators, each functioning on an extreme edge. There is no room for luggage at this table, you keep the pace or you are out. The scotch, smokes, smiles and words are high stakes poker. The game has nothing to do with the venue or the eye candy. Face is everything and weakness means that you are yesterdayâ€™s news.
We continue until 4am. I rise at 8am.
Now I wait, in my suit, watching my three phones and sipping my skim latte. Waiting for this morningâ€™s contest to begin. It will be the next round.